My Food Style

Curb the Carbs - How Lettuce Wraps things Up

If you have watched prime time television in the past few weeks you have probably been introduced to the latest craze of cheese stuck between two heaping pieces of fried chicken! Sounds pretty grouse, huh? This is the latest, and poorest, post Colonel Sanders concoction from KFC. The majority of fast food companies are creating campaigns directing hatred towards everything carbohydrate (more to swing favor away from McDonalds, and less about proactive solutions towards obesity) and the industry is doing everything it can too “Think Outside the Bun”. Let’s pretend for a moment that we are actually persuaded by these ridiculous catch phrases and you have decided to abandon carbohydrates altogether. How exactly would you eat ground turkey or ground beef without a bun, or grill a piece of chicken and not wrap it in a tortilla? The answer comes from the dark soggy confines of those hamburgers, smashed between sesame seed buns and special sauce; the crispy, light, and the often under appreciated piece of lettuce makes its comeback!

Interstitial Cystitis makes it nearly impossible for many people to eat carbohydrates, simple or complex, and because carbohydrates are found in almost everything from pasta to fruit, using lettuce is an excellent way to keep things safe.

For the recipe below simply use romaine, iceberg, red leaf, bib, or any leaf lettuce that when torn is the size of your hand. Aside from arugula and watercress, most greenery is virtually flavorless (why else would we douse it in salad dressing?) so we must pay special attention to the filling for our wraps, and for that I choose an Asian inspired chicken filling. Feel free to substitute the chicken with tofu, turkey, or you can skip the meat altogether and make it a vegetarian meal.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Serves 4

4 Chicken Breasts – grilled and then minced
2 Tbls vegetable oil
2 whole carrots (use 3 carrots for vegetarians) – minced
1 cup water chestnuts - minced
2/3 cup any mushrooms – fine chop (1 cup for vegetarians)
1 garlic clove - minced
½ of a cucumber (1 cucumber for vegetarians) - minced
½ tsp salt
¼ cup fresh basil - (1 TBL if using dried)
8 Whole lettuce leaves (romaine, bib, iceberg, etc)


¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup water
½ tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp salt

Make the sauce by combining the sugar, water, oil, and salt in a bowl. Mix very well and set the sauce aside until you are ready to serve the wraps.

Add the oil to a large sauté pan over medium high heat. When the oil reaches its temperature pan fry the chicken for 5 minutes per side. When the chicken is cooked move them to a paper towel to drain, let the chicken rest while you cut up the vegetables. Drain the oil leaving 2 tablespoons in the pan to sauté your vegetables.

Cut all the vegetables according to the directions then toss them altogether in the oil and sauté for five minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the sauce and minced chicken to the cooked vegetables and toss well.

Fill each leaf of romaine with equal amounts of the filling. Enjoy!

What is Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a condition that results in recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and the surrounding pelvic region. The symptoms vary from case to case....

What causes IC?

Some of the symptoms of IC/PBS resemble those of bacterial infection, but medical tests reveal no organisms in the urine of people with IC/PBS...

How is IC diagnosed?

Because symptoms are similar to those of other disorders of the bladder and there is no definitive test to identify IC/PBS, doctors must rule out other treatable conditions before considering a diagnosis of IC/PBS...

What are treatments for IC?

Scientists have not yet found a cure for IC/PBS, nor can they predict who will respond best to which treatment. Symptoms may disappear with a change in diet or treatments or without explanation...

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